When a range hood malfunctions, its importance becomes clear (as with many things). If smoke blurs your vision, odours linger for hours and steam and heat bother you while cooking, here are some possible explanations and solutions.

1. It’s a Ductless Range Hood Model.

A ductless range hood can only filter some impurities – such as odours and grease – before recirculating the air into the room. Smoke, heat, moisture and steam thus remain trapped in the kitchen. Nothing can be done about this problem except opening a window or installing a proper ducted range hood.

2. Your Range Hood Filter Needs Cleaning.

The metal filter in your range hood traps most smoke and grease particles, preventing them from building up inside the duct. This part needs to be washed in hot soapy water or in the dishwasher to remain effective. This is especially true of micromesh filters; baffle filters require less maintenance.

Plan this essential maintenance cleaning every two to three months or according to the manufacturer’s reminder option. For example, Aroua range hoods feature a customizable timer to remind you to clean the filters after 50, 100 or 150 hours of use, depending on your cooking habits.

3. The Exhaust is Blocked.

No air can be expelled if the exhaust is blocked outside! Check whether snow, ice, a trash bin or gardening supplies may have obstructed the opening or if a fallen tree may have damaged the part during a storm.

4. 1. Your Range Hood Isn’t Wide Enough.

Your range hood should be at least as wide as your cooking surface – and ideally 3″ wider on each side. If the unit is too narrow, it may not be able to draw in steam or smoke that drifts away from it.

If you have a wall-mounted range hood, try using the rear burners. Your range hood can draw air above them twice as efficiently.

5. Your Range Hood Is Too High.

The greater the distance between your range hood and what it has to capture, the more effort it takes. Again, use the rear burners first since they provide less room for steam and smoke to drift away.

6. Your Ventilation Duct Route Isn’t Great

The air drawn in by your range hood should be exhausted in the shortest, most direct way possible. If your ventilation duct is a long, winding labyrinth peppered with bends, many obstacles can hinder the air’s passage.

Ensure that your ventilation duct is of sufficient diameter to maximize the air volume that can be contained. A 6″ duct is generally enough for range hoods rated at 600 CFM or less. Higher performance models require an 8″ or larger duct.

7. Your Range Hood Isn’t Powerful Enough.

It’s more likely that one of the above reasons explains your appliance’s sub-par performance. However, if your cooking style involves a lot of steam and smoke, such as deep-frying and sautéing, you may need a more robust range hood for your needs.

It’s also possible that the cubic feet per minute (CFM) rating given by the manufacturer doesn’t match the actual rating of the unit after installation. For example, if your ductwork is particularly long or features many bends, you may need a more powerful motor to compensate.

Read our complete guide to estimate how much poweryou need or contact our team for personalized advice.